Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bugti says accord is not being implemented

Bugti says accord is not being implemented

By Azizullah Khan

QUETTA: Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Akbar Bugti told Senator Mushahid Hussain on Tuesday that decisions made in the Dera Bugti accord were not being implemented while paramilitary forces had started taking certain unilateral decisions in Dera Bugti.

Senator Mushahid Hussain of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) visited Sui and Dera Bugti on Tuesday to monitor the implementation of the accord between the federal government and Nawab Akbar Bugti. Mushahid Hussain was heading the implementation and monitoring committee formed especially for Dera Bugti after Bugti tribesmen and Frontier Corps officials exchanged fire on March 17 in which many were killed and injured.

Mushahid told reporters that he delivered PML President Shujaat Hussain’s message to Nawab Akbar Bugti and inquired about his health. He said that he found certain encroachment in Dera Bugti

FC soldiers kill 3 over parking

QUETTA: Three people were killed in firing between Frontier Constabulary soldiers and residents in Quetta, said police chief Salman Syed on Tuesday. Syed said police had arrested two FC soldiers and two others. He said the clash took place after a dispute over parking a car outside an FC camp in Saryab, adding that the FC men stopped some young men from parking their car. The men brought more people and the two sides traded fire. As a result, three men were killed. Nni

Protest against killing of three

By our correspondent

QUETTA: An angry mob torched furniture and tents of the Drivers Training School (DTS) on a link road in the Satellite Town area on Tuesday to protest against the killings of three people on Sariab Road. DIG Police Suleman Syed Muhammad told The News that the mob torched only old furniture and tents and added that the fire-fighters put out the fire timely. He said that the police was investigating the Monday’s night incident in which three persons were killed. Police had detained two people for investigations, he added.

Mushahid holds talks with Nawab Bugti

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, May 24: Pakistan Muslim League Secretary-General Senator Mushahid Hussain held talks with Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti on Tuesday. Sources said the meeting in Dera Bugti reviewed the process of implementation of an agreement reached between Nawab Bugti and PML president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and the senator for normalizing the situation in the area.

It was observed during the meeting that the Frontier Corps had established some posts in violation of the agreement. The PML leader is reported to have taken serious notice of the situation and assured the JWP chief that he would take up the issue with the authorities concerned. Nawab Bugti’s nephew Sardar Sher Ali Mazari attended the meeting.

Senator Hussain told journalists after taking an aerial view of the area: “I myself felt that encroachment still exists in some areas.” He said reservations of the tribesmen would be removed and the encroachment would be abolished. He said he had delivered a message from Chaudhry Shujaat to Nawab Bugti. “I came to Dera Bugti to give the message and inquire after his health,” he said.

“Implementation of decisions on settled issues of Sui and Dera Bugti would be ensured,” he said. The senator regretted that the local telephone exchange had not been repaired over the past three months. He said steps would be taken to restore the telephone link as soon as possible.

Nawab Bugti said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere, the process of implementation of settled matters was reviewed and notice taken of violations of the agreement by the Frontier Corps which had established new posts.

He said the PML leader had visited various places in the area to assess the situation and held out the assurance that he would take up the matter with the quarters concerned. He said the senator had told him that past mistakes would not be repeated but he did not promise that new mistakes would not be made.

In reply to a question, he said decisions on settled matters had not been implemented so far. He said the PML secretary-general had informed him that he had submitted the report of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan to the government but the constitutional committee headed by Senator Wasim Sajjad had not completed its work.

ARD plans meeting on Balochistan

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 24: The opposition Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) will organize a “Balochistan conference” in Islamabad to work out a political solution to crisis in the province. This was announced by the alliance’s secretary general Iqbal Zafar Jhagra after a meeting of the ARD leadership here on Tuesday. He said all political parties belonging to Balochistan province would be invited to the conference, adding that its date would be announced later.

Mr Jhagra demanded withdrawal of troops from Balochistan, and said: “Military operations are no solution to the problems being faced by the people of Balochistan.”

He said an ARD delegation which had recently visited Dera Bugti found the situation in the province quite serious and alarming. He said Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti had briefed the ARD delegation on the meetings between him and ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. Mr Bugti, he said, told them that Chaudhry Shujaat had not fulfilled promises made during his visits to Dera Bugti.

Mr Jhagra said the ARD had decided to continue its mass mobilization campaign against the government and a public meeting would be held in Abbottabad in the third week of June.

He said an ARD delegation would soon visit all political prisoners in the country and strive for their early release. He urged the government to withdraw ‘false cases’ against Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani and Afaq Ahmed.

The ARD secretary general said that the alliance would not accept any elections if Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were kept out of the process. He said if the government sincerely wanted a reconciliation with the opposition it must allow Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, a source in the ARD told Dawn that at one point during the meeting, the leaders of the People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) traded allegations and accused each other of trying to strike a deal with Gen Pervez Musharraf.

PML-N leaders Raja Zafarul Haq and Syed Zafar Ali Shah, the source said, asked the PPP leadership to clarify its position about reports of talks between the party and the government. The PML-N leaders were of the view that the PPP-government talks were damaging for the ARD.

At this point, the source said, a PPP office-bearer tauntingly told the PML-N leaders that everyone knew that Hamza Shahbaz, son of Shahbaz Sharif, was in contact with the regime.

The PPP leaders, however, said the party was holding talks with the government on principles and it would not strike any deal unilaterally. The sources said that there were differences between the PPP and the PML-N on the issue of participation in the protest day called by the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal on May 27 against the desecration of Holy Quran by US troops in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. The PML-N was in favour of full participation in MMA protest rallies while the PPP was against the idea.

While briefing reporters Mr Jhagra, avoided mentioning MMA and said that the ARD would support the call of the international community to observe a protest day on May 27 against the desecration of Holy Quran.

PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar, when contacted, categorically stated that his party condemned the Guantanamo Bay incident, but it would in no way take part in any meeting with the MMA.

Mengal supports jobs for locals in oil, gas exploration firms

Says portion of royalty could be allocated to dist govts for social uplift

By our correspondent

SUKKUR: Federal Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mir Muhammad Naseer Khan Mengal on Tuesday said he supported the idea of providing jobs in exploration firms to the local people.

Speaking as chief guest at the inauguration ceremony of Petronas’ Rehmat Gas Plant at Sardar Garh (district Ghotki), about 130 kms north-east of here, he suggested that technical training programmes could be launched to provide necessary training to the un-skilled local youths to prepare them for the jobs.

"This will ultimately remove the sense of deprivation in certain areas," Mengal said, and added a portion of royalty, which is given by the government, could also be allocated to the district governments, he said. "This amount should be utilised for carrying out social reforms at the local level," he said.

Mengal said the de-regulation and privatisation policy of the government had yielded positive results, terming the private sector’s participation in the oil and gas sector "quite promising". "There is a lot of potential in the oil and gas sector and the government has introduced a very liberal policy of granting exploration licences, especially in Sindh and Balochistan."

He said that the government had taken a number of measures to speed up the oil and gas exploration, in view of increasing demand. "The country needs more oil and gas resources for its future requirements as in 2010, Pakistan would need 4.5 billion cubic feet gas against the present day demand of 3.2 billion cubic feet."

He hoped that the stakeholders in the oil and gas sector would extant full cooperation to the government to achieve its objective of alleviating poverty from the country by boosting investment here. "Income tax on the exploration companies in the oil and gas sector has also been reduced from 55 per cent to 40 per cent to give them further incentives," he added.

The minister appreciated the Petronas, Malaysia’s national petroleum corporation, and its joint-venture partners Eni Pakistan Ltd and the Government Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, for opening the Rehmat Gas Plant in Ghotki, which he had earlier formally inaugurated.

Earlier, Ali Gohar Mahar said that the Ghotki was among the top revenue earning districts of Sindh province, contributing through its four gas plants, a power plant, and two fertiliser plants, still it lacked funds for improving living standard of the people.

Speaking on the occasion, Abdullah Karim, Vice-President Petronas said that the Rehmat Gas Plant was part of the Rehmat Gas Development Project, which had been completed within 12 months. "The Rehmat Gas Field is being developed for a production of 70 mmscfd of gas and 80 barrels per day (bpd) of associated condensates," he added.

He said the project is one of the major international milestones for Petronas and marks the successful partnership the company has forged with its co-ventures Eni Pakistan and the Government Holdings.

Balochistan PA to debate law, order situation on 27th

By our correspondent

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday admitted a joint adjournment motion moved by ruling PML’s legislators regarding deteriorating law and order situation in the province. Moving the joint adjournment motion, former chief minister Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali, drew attention of the House towards an incident in Notal area of Naseerabad district where armed dacoits had killed four passengers in a dacioty bid on Monday last. Similarly, two policemen had been killed in the same area a couple of days ago, he added. The other movers included Mir Tariq Magsi, Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhel and Shah Zaman Rind of PML. The motion was admitted for two hours debate on May 27. Later, Law Minister Mir Abdul Rehman Jamali moved the Balochistan Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2005. The speaker referred the bill to the standing committee concerned.

Mushahid, Bugti review pace of accord execution

JWP chief blames unrest on army action

Muhammad Ejaz Khan

QUETTA: Secretary-General of Pakistan Muslim League Mushahid Hussain Sayed Tuesday met chief of Jamhoori Watan Party Nawab Akbar Bugti at Dera Bugti and reviewed the pace of implementation on the understanding reached between Bugti and PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Talking to newsmen after his meeting with Mushahid, Bugti cited little development on issues reached between the government and JWP in the wake of the March 17 incident. But at the same time, he categorically stated there was no implementation on 'certain things.'

Bugti said Mushahid had not only personally inspected the "encroachments" made by the Frontier Corps (FC), but also took strict notice of it. He said that other matters pertaining to Dera Bugti situation were also discussed during the meeting.

To a query whether there was any assurance from Mushahid pertaining to the removal of alleged encroachments from Dera Bugti, the JWP chief said he (Mushahid) himself inspected them. He (Mushahid) held out the assurance to submit his report to the quarters concerned because he could not issue any order in this regard on his own.

"Let us see what happens to the report of the parliamentary committee," Bugti said.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued here, Bugti said the three military operations of the past in Balochistan backfired and are the real cause of present unrest in the province. He alleged the injustices, use of extreme force to calm down the Balochs were factors behind the agitation.

"The use of carrot and stick in the province could not restore peace and, on the contrary, completely alienated the Baloch society."

He said many simpletons keep parroting that restoring the original 1973 constitution would work wonders. The constitution was not acceptable then and none takes it seriously, today, he added.

"Either consign it to the dustbin of history or put together an entirely new one, or through major drastic surgery try and make it acceptable to the people," he suggested.

Bugti said in Balochistan the core issue pertains to the Baloch national wealth and who the master of Baloch destiny is - the Baloch or others?

He said so far, the authoritarian regime has been drumming that it would give this and that to the Baloch, which is much more than they can dream about. "But all these promises are not worth the paper (they are) written on", he observed.

Bugti said the Baloch people are certain they would not get anything substantial, but at best only "crumbs" from the table.


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